Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mexico on Eight Tacos a Day

Marinated Pork Tacos with Cream in Chetumal

Marinated Pork Tacos with Cream in Chetumal

In first grade we were asked to contribute a recipe to the class cookbook. I chose tacos. I still do. If I leave work for lunch more often than not I'm getting tacos - but increasingly I've been drawn to more and more sketchy taco trucks in search of my fix.

So, it was no surprise to Shelly when I made it my unspoken quest to see just how questionable of an establishment she would let me visit. From experience she counseled me away from the shadiest street vendors, but she joined me in my gastronomical perversion.

Huevos Mexicana in Campeche
Tacos in the Morning - Huevos Mexicana in Campeche

Tulum Street Tacos
Tacos in the Evening - Tulum Street Tacos

I'm happy to report that we never got sick in Mexico. We didn't get sick even at the establishment where a friendly trio of overweight ladies ate food off our order while we worked to establish a shared word to describe cabbage. Even after a pair of "agua frescas", a sweet fruity drink served in used bottles refilled with a slurry of juice, pulp, sugar and water of questionable origin we held strong. We were intestinal rocks stars.

That is until we returned to America. We landed in Salt Lake City at nearly midnight and I was ravenous and still craving tacos. I stopped at a Taco Bell drive-in. Shelly, wisely, for the first time all trip didn't join me. Nearly immediately I felt sick and remained that way for the next week stateside. There's something seriously wrong if I can drink so-called "agua frescas" with no ill results and yet can't eat four tacos at Taco Bell (and they tasted gross too).

Lesson learned. In America you don't want a Mexican Restaurant with a drive-thru, you want a Mexican Restaurant with a driveshaft.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making Other Plans

The tire had been flat for many years and though it held air, it seemed best to rotate the weight to a different side of the tire. This didn't seem quite so simple as my feet went out from under me and I started to fall backward with a trailer and boat rapidly bearing down on my crotch.

Through some feat of magic (or maybe it was simply adrenaline) I managed to torque my torso clear, but not in time to free my left hand. My fingers became sausages in a trailer-cinder block sandwich.

Lucky, this day, I was married. My wedding band took most of the blow, but looking quickly at my hand I saw a flash of white (never a good sign) before red overtook my hand and the grass at my feet. Naturally, I didn't make a sound. I never make a sound when I really injure myself. Sounds are reserved for stubbing your toe or when a sleeping bag falls on your head in the garage - not situations where there is actual pain. I really should have tried out for drama club in high school.

2010-07-19 21.12.59

A Ring with Benefits

So alone in my quiet red pool, I had time to lift the trailer back up and reposition it on the cinder block before Shelly - who had heard the crash - came running out into the backyard.

I knew it was pretty bad, but I didn't want to impose, so I stopped to share dinner and conversation with my mother-in-law before excusing myself and my lovely bride to drive me to the ER. Eight stitches later and a lot of gauze we were home. Good thing most of the packing for the trip was already done, because the next morning I had to cancel going to Shelly's surgery so I could go to see the hand surgeon and physical therapist. That night we left for Mexico with Shelly still doped up on anesthesia. Can't say we don't know how to celebrate an anniversary. Just following the lead of our spiritual adviser.

I've been meaning to write this up for weeks, but once my meatsticks healed it's been one surprise after another. This weekend half a tree snapped off in my backyard. Last night, a simple walk with my girls in the moonlight and ended up in the shower with two dogs and the smell of some sort of musky animal carcass. They say life is what happens when you're making other plans.

2010-07-19 22.26.47
The Opposite of Hubris